January of 2011 is almost over! How far along have you come with your New Years' resolutions? If you haven't even started yet, one twelfth of the year is already over, what are you waiting for? Goal setting is one of the most important tools to getting where you want to be. If fat loss is your goal, you need to be setting small goals like 1 pound per week in order to achieve the total 10, 20, 50 pounds that you want to lose. If you don't know where you are going, you will never get there. You must work on the small goals in order to achieve the big ones. We will be discussing how to set your goals properly to achieve each and every one of them.

First thing, you've got to write down what you want. At the beginning of this month, I sat down and wrote down 20 items that I want to work on this year. These are the big goals that are the most important for me to have a great 2011. The following is the list of things that I wanted to work on:

I WILL Walk Peyton 5 times a week I WILL Run the Seven Sisters (under 4 hours), the Rugged Maniacs and the Warrior Dash I WILL Deadlift 500 lbs and Bench Press 315 lbs I WILL Pay off my credit card debt I WILL Get Train for Life up and running as my sole business and not have to work 2 or more jobs I WILL Be more patient I WILL Write, journal and blog I WILL Do Yoga at least once a week I WILL Read at least 25 books by the end of the year I WILL Complete 3 more certifications, NSCA-CPT, HKC and IYCA Youth Specialist I WILL Workout at least 4 days per week I WILL Film a video library of exercises for my website and clients use I WILL Visit 12 gyms of strength and conditioning coaches who I respect and hope to learn from I WILL Snowboard at least 5 times this year I WILL Spend more time outdoors; hiking, running, snowboarding, etc... I WILL Go on a vacation I WILL Get rid of the pain and tightness in my right hip I WILL Get a massage at least every couple months I WILL Attend at least 2 seminars I WILL Be the best friend/fiancee/trainer/coach that I can

Those are my goals, now it's your turn to do the same! Once you compile a list of your long term goals, you have to figure out a way you are going to get to each of them. Your big goals can be broad, but in order to achieve them you must be very specific about the ways you will work toward them. So if one of you're big goal is weight loss, you must set small goals like 'I will go to the gym at least 3 days per week' and 'I will eat a protein source and vegetable with every meal.' As you achieve these goals, keep track! Small goals will snowball and give you the momentum you need. I posted my reading list, 25 books at one every 2 weeks outlines how I will get there. This is a great example of how to simplify a large goal into something more manageable.

After you've completed these lists, they need to be kept in the front your mind. You need to do this not just by thinking about them a lot, but by setting up visuals to remind you of them. Placing the list on your refrigerator or office desk, you will be constantly reminded of what you are trying to do. Another idea I use, I give each of my clients a white bracelet with our slogan, 'Live is Hard, Train Harder' as a reminder to be disciplined. By wearing it you will be reminded of what it is you want, so each time you are about to put a bad piece of food in your mouth or skip your next workout, you'll stop and think twice!

Make 2011 the year that you become a better you. I posted a while back a quote from Jim Wendler, a powerlifter and strength coach who I greatly respect, "New Years' resolutions are for losers. Just live the lift you want and reach goals all the time. End of story." While this is a little harsh for some, if you're constantly setting goals you won't need to revisit the same resolutions year in and year out, you will always be striving to be better, each and every day. We only get one shot at this, give it your best, AND THEN SOME!